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Project by Lazyman posted 04-28-2019 03:46 PM 1266 views 3 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I decided to try turning a couple of spheres and got a little obsessed with trying different woods and epoxy inlays.
1) Bois d’arc (osage orange) with brass powder inlay
2) Spalted sugarberry (aka southern hackberry)
3) Spalted red oak. It has a big black hole through the middle
4) Bradford pear with blue mica inlay. I used some black dye to pop the grain a bit
5a) Dogwood with blue mica inlay
5b) Photinia (the shrub) with black and red dye—looks almost like a red planet model.
6) Bois d’arc with blue mica inlay.
The spalted red oak orb is finished with Tried and True Danish oil. The others are all sanded to at least 2000 grit and finished with Mylands friction polish which may just become my new favorite for turned projects. I like it much better than the Hut Friction Finish I have been using up until now.

These are both Bradford pear and the first 2 I attempted.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

17 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6645 posts in 1552 days

#1 posted 04-28-2019 04:44 PM

Am I the first to say, “Nice balls, Nathan!” ?

They’re pretty, even if they are cracked and rotted.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7819 posts in 4323 days

#2 posted 04-28-2019 04:53 PM

I won’ t say they are nice I’ll Just say you’ve got big amazing balls!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View leafherder's profile


1974 posts in 2922 days

#3 posted 04-28-2019 05:17 PM

Wow those are really cool! The ones with inlay remind me of Boulder Opals. The ones without inlay would make great planets for a model of the solar system.

Thanks for posting.

-- Leafherder

View duckmilk's profile


4420 posts in 2295 days

#4 posted 04-28-2019 05:42 PM

Really good job of turning Nathan!

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25734 posts in 4076 days

#5 posted 04-28-2019 06:53 PM

Those are really cool!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View ralbuck's profile


6641 posts in 3237 days

#6 posted 04-28-2019 08:02 PM


-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Lazyman's profile (online now)


6317 posts in 2358 days

#7 posted 04-28-2019 08:55 PM

Thanks guys.

LOL. Not sure what I was thinking posting “ball’s to LJ. I can always count on you guys for a laugh. Subconsciously I think I knew the jokes that would inevitably come up. That is probably why I called them spheres and orbs.

BTW, I forgot to mention that I fairly closely followed the freehand method demonstrated on the As Wood Turns Youtube channel. Mine are by no means perfect spheres but what I discovered is that they look nearly perfect so it doesn’t matter for decorative pieces.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View HokieKen's profile (online now)


15977 posts in 2109 days

#8 posted 04-28-2019 11:06 PM

Those look great Nathan! I was going to ask what sphere-turning jig you made but now I see you didn’t use a jig. That’s encouraging :-))

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View jeffswildwood's profile


4797 posts in 2948 days

#9 posted 04-29-2019 12:33 AM

Truly amazing Nathan! These must require a light touch and patients. Super turning buddy!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View mel52's profile


1856 posts in 1235 days

#10 posted 04-29-2019 01:00 AM

Beautiful !!! I may have to try my hand at one of these. Hope they come out at least half as good as yours. Excellent job !!! Mel

-- MEL, Kansas

View Lazyman's profile (online now)


6317 posts in 2358 days

#11 posted 04-29-2019 01:21 AM

Give it try guys. The process was actually pretty simple, though the first one kept getting smaller and smaller as I figured it out. I think that what I figured out when I did the second one is not to worry too much about it being perfect. Sanding and polishing makes them look pretty darn perfect—that Mylands Friction Polish is amazing stuff. The one exception was the dogwood one. It was a little punky and the new epoxy I used to fill some voids was so much harder than the wood that sanding just made the wood smaller and smaller without affecting the epoxy and it just started getting more and more odd shaped so I finally just stopped and applied a finish. My favorites were the two bois d’arc ones (pictures 1 & 6). That wood looked polished right off the bowl gouges I used to get a final shear cut. In fact, I didn’t have to sand the 2 bases made from the offcuts except to polish the brass/epoxy inlay in the first one.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Ivan's profile


16519 posts in 3838 days

#12 posted 04-29-2019 04:39 AM

They are absolutely fantastic – lovely colours and wood samples.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2738 days

#13 posted 04-29-2019 12:25 PM

Pretty cool spheres.


View pottz's profile


13739 posts in 1955 days

#14 posted 04-29-2019 02:22 PM

love em all pretty cool

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8257 posts in 1683 days

#15 posted 04-29-2019 02:45 PM


-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

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